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Diplomatic Services: Equality

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many ambassadors and high commissioners are (a) male and (b) female and identify themselves as (i) white and (ii) from another ethnic group. (251312)

UK heads of mission overseas are designated high commissioner when accredited to a Commonwealth state, and ambassador when accredited to a foreign state. In dependent territories they serve as governors.

28 out of 193 staff currently serving as UK heads of mission overseas are female.

Five UK heads of mission have recorded that they are from a non-white British ethnic minority, and five opted not to declare their ethnicity.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is committed to increasing the diversity of its work force at all levels, including its senior representatives. Our objective is both to reflect the diversity of modern Britain at home and overseas and to promote equality and harness different approaches and perspectives.